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Archive for October 29th, 2013

Pogues Box Up Complete Albums, Unreleased Live Show for “30 Years”

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Pogues 30 packshotCeltic rockers The Pogues are releasing a new box set that collects all of their studio albums – two newly-remixed just for this release – and an unreleased live album with a very special frontman.

Led by unforgettable frontman Shane Macgowan, The Pogues deftly combined the raucous traditions of traditional Celtic folk songs and sharp-edged punk rock, gaining a considerable live following when opening for The Clash on one of their last tours. A contract with Stiff Records followed, yielding Red Roses for Me and Rum Sodomy and the Lash, the latter produced by unabashed fan Elvis Costello (who would later marry the band’s then-bassist, Cait O’Riordan).

The Pogues achieved mainstream success with If I Should Fall from Grace with God in 1988, featuring the British holiday hit “Fairytale of New York,” a duet between Macgowan and Kirsty MacColl, but their days were also marked by trials when Macgowan’s drinking habits led to his dismissal from the band. Co-founder Spider Stacy took over vocal duties after a brief stint with Joe Strummer of The Clash, but the band split up in 1995. The full band, including Macgowan, reunited for annual tours in Europe and the United States starting in 2001; the band’s most recent highlight was a tragic one, however, with the passing of guitarist Philip Chevron earlier this month after a battle with cancer.

While new box The Pogues 30 doesn’t feature any of the bonus tracks on Rhino’s 2004 remaster series, there are some new treats for collectors:

  • Red Roses for Me has been newly remixed from the original tapes by longtime Pogues engineer Nick Robbins, while 1989’s Peace and Love has been remixed by original producer Steve Lillywhite.
  • A bonus disc includes a complete concert from the London Forum at the end of 1991, when Joe Strummer was the band’s frontman. The group tears through a 22-song set featuring a few choice tunes from The Clash’s discography. (Three of these tracks were released on 2008’s Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say…Pogue Mahone!! The Pogues Box Set, which was reissued in a smaller package earlier this year.)

30 Years will be available December 2. A U.K. pre-order link and the full set list for the live disc are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 29, 2013 at 16:53

Omnivore Unveils Colorful Black Friday Slate with Van Zandt, Clark, Kovacs

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Here at Second Disc HQ, we know that we can count on Omnivore Recordings for some of the most colorful and fun releases for Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday shopping event!  On the day after Thanksgiving, you might find yourself at your local indie record store to pick up one of Omnivore’s three Black Friday collectibles.  As usual, it’s a diverse trio, with releases from two late troubadours – Townes Van Zandt and Gene Clark – and one legendary late comedian, Ernie Kovacs.

Omnivore Black Friday 2013This past March, Omnivore unveiled The White Light Demos from The Byrds’ Gene Clark, which traced the development of the music that was released on Clark’s August 1971 LP for A&M Records, White LightFor Back to Black Friday, The White Light Demos arrives as a limited edition orange vinyl pressing.  Clark’s second post-Byrds solo record, White Light was a rootsy collection of intensely personal, and frequently transcendent, music.  Of the twelve demos on Omnivore’s release, six (“White Light,” “For A Spanish Guitar,” “Where My Love Lies Asleep,” “The Virgin” “Because Of You,” and “With Tomorrow”) appeared in final form on White Light. Two (“Opening Day” and “Winter”) appeared in final form as bonus tracks on A&M’s 2002 CD reissue of the album. One track (”Here Tonight”) is an alternate version of a song that appeared on the Flying Burrito Brothers compilation Close Up The Honky Tonks.  The remaining trio of songs (“For No One,” “Please Mr. Freud” and “Jimmy Christ”) had never been issued previously in any form prior to Omnivore’s CD release.  This is the first appearance of The White Light Demos on vinyl.

After the jump: what’s coming from Townes Van Zandt and Ernie Kovacs? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2013 at 13:28

Cherry Red, RPM Are “Looking Good” On New Girl Group Box

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Looking Good boxWhat is “femme mod soul,” you might ask?  Cherry Red’s RPM imprint has the answer with a new 3-CD box set, Looking Good: 75 Femme Mod Soul Nuggets.  This set aims to chronicle the girl group sound “from and for the underground.”  As Lois Wilson points out in an introductory essay, the box doesn’t paint a full picture of the girl group era.  Not only have there been countless compilations on the theme, but Rhino’s four-CD box set One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found remains the definitive, Grammy-nominated gold standard.  Indeed, Wilson doffs her hat to that delicious 2005 collection which was presented in a hat box!  Looking Good serves as a complement to that comprehensive set, placing “the girl group sound in a club soul setting.  It’s aimed at the hand-clappin’, finger-poppin’ mamas and foot-stompin’, finger-clicking daddies.”  The box, loaded with rare and hard-to-find treats in an uptempo Northern Soul vein, is designed in the style of RPM’s previous Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat and Swinging London Nuggets.

Despite the emphasis on hidden gems, the box still features numerous familiar names and even some hit records from labels including Columbia, Warner Bros., ABC-Paramount, United Artists, Cameo, Scepter and Wand.  The Three Degrees brought sweet soul to “T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)” in the seventies; Looking Back opens with “Do What You’re Supposed to Do,” the B-side of their 1964 Swan debut single.  Before Sheila Ferguson joined the Three Degrees, she recorded with The Kittens as well as solo.  From her solo discography comes 1965’s “And in Return,” written by Norman “General” Johnson of the Chairmen of the Board.  Among the other well-known artists here are The Toys of “A Lover’s Concerto” fame, heard with the 1968 flipside “I’ve Got My Heart Set on You”; Candy and the Kisses with their infectious 1964 hit dance record “The 81”; Reparata and the Delrons with their immortal “I’m Nobody’s Baby Now” as well as “Panic”; Barbara “Hello, Stranger” Lewis with her No. 11 hit “Make Me Your Baby” from 1965; and Skeeter “The End of the World” Davis with 1964’s “Let Me Get Close to You.”  The Blossoms – Darlene Love, Fanita James, Gloria Jones, and sisters Annette and Nanette Williams – were recognized for their lengthy C.V. as background vocalists in the 2013 documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.  Two of their solo singles have been selected, both from the Challenge label: 1961’s “Write Me a Letter” and “I Gotta Tell It,” unreleased until 1995.

“Let Me Get Close to You” came from the pen of Gerry Goffin and Carole King; the work of numerous other top-tier songwriters are heard here.  The Brill Building scene also yielded Jeff Barry’s song “I’m Nobody’s Baby Now” for Reparata and the Delrons and Barry and Ellie Greenwich’s “That Boy  is Messing Up My Mind,” recorded by The Orchids.  Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector’s “Baby Baby You,” originally known as “You Baby” for The Ronettes, is heard here in a version by The Lovenotes.  Gary Geld and Peter Udell, known both for pop hits like “Hurting Each Other” and the Broadway musicals Purlie and Shenandoah, wrote “Here’s to Our Love,” recorded by Cathy Carroll.  And Al Kooper teamed with onetime writing partner Irwin Levine (“This Diamond Ring”) for “Bobby’s Come a Long, Long Way” by the oddly-named Eight Feet.  Even singer-songwriter Bob Lind of “Elusive Butterfly” fame got into the girl group act with Ronnie and Robyn’s “Blow Out the Candle.”

After the jump: more details on what you’ll find in Looking Good, plus the full track listing with discographical annotation and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2013 at 10:26

Release Round-Up: Week of October 29

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Bananarama EdselBananarama, Deep Sea Skiving Bananarama True Confessions Wow! Pop Life Please Yourself: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

The pop trio’s London discography gets the royal treatment with these 2CD/1DVD expanded editions featuring loads of rare and unreleased bonus tracks.

Deep Sea Skiving: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
BananaramaAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
True ConfessionsAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Wow!Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Pop LifeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Please YourselfAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Humble Pie - PerformanceHumble Pie, Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore – The Complete Recordings (Omnivore)

The landmark 1971 album is expanded into box set form, featuring all four sets at the legendary Fillmore East recorded for the original release. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

JethroTullBenefitcoverart_500Jethro Tull, Benefit: A Collector’s Edition (Chrysalis/Rhino)

Tull’s third album gets newly remixed in stereo and surround by Steven Wilson and newly expanded with rare single and remix material. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

BelfegoreAndy Williams, The Complete Christmas Recordings / Bobby Darin, The 25th Day of December with Bobby Darin / Patti Page, Christmas with Patti Page (Deluxe Edition) / The New Christy Minstrels, The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings / Various Artists, Funky Christmas / Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, Lovin’ Her Was Easier/After All These Years / Belfegore, Belfegore (Deluxe Edition) (Real Gone Music)

Spread some holiday cheer with the latest batch of Real Gone titles, which also includes the incredibly rare sophomore album by German goth/New Wave outfit Belfegore – now expanded with bonus tracks.

Andy Williams: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bobby Darin: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Patti Page: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The New Christy Minstrels: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Funky ChristmasAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Tompall Glaser: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Belfegore: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Essential James TaylorBoz Scaggs / James Taylor / Wu-Tang Clan, The Essential (Legacy)

The latest in the double-disc hits series includes career-spanning treasuries from Scaggs and Taylor (including the Warner and Columbia years in equal measure) and a new collection from hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan.

Boz: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
JT: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Wu-Tang: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

12%22 Disco CollectionVarious Artists, 12″ Disco: The Collection (Rhino U.K.)

Compiled by the fine folks at Big Break Records, this triple disc set features disco hits and rarities in equal measure, including a few tracks bowing onto CD for the first time. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Sayer boxLeo Sayer, Just a Box: The Complete Studio Recordings 1971-2006 (Edsel)

All of the U.K. hitmaker’s (“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” “When I Need You”) studio albums, plus two discs of rarities in this exhaustive set curated by Sayer himself on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his first U.K. hit, “The Show Must Go On.” (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Oh Yes We Can LoveVarious Artists, Oh Yes We Can Love: The History of Glam Rock (Universal U.K.)

A quintuple-disc set exhaustively looks at a half-century of the glam rock genre, digging far beyond the usual hits and influential tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ramones Sire YearsRamones, The Sire Years 1976-1981 (Rhino)

The first six Ramones LPs, albeit without any of the bonus tracks included on previous reissues. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

EAGLES_Vinyl_BoxEagles, The Studio Albums 1972-1979 (LP) (Rhino)

A vinyl box featuring the band’s complete Elektra studio albums. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)